Cercyon laminatus Sharp, 1873

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POLYPHAGA Emery, 1886

HYDROPHILOIDEA Latreille, 1802

HYDROPHILIDAE Latreille, 1802

SPHAERIDIINAE Latreille, 1802

CERCYON Leach, 1817

PARACYCREON d’Orchymont, 1942

Originally native to the eastern Palaearctic region, including Japan, this species has been transported across much of the world along with human trade and become widely established; there are Polish records from 1884 and since it has spread throughout Europe to northern Scandinavia. There are recent records from Southeast Asia, Australia, the New World and many oceanic islands; it was established in Hawaii by the beginning of the twentieth century. The first UK record was from Kent in August 1959 and since then it has become established in south-east and central England with many coastal and estuarine records, here it is locally common but the wider European distribution and occurrence is erratic e.g. it is widespread and locally common in Poland and Sweden but very local and rare in Denmark. The species develops in all kinds of decaying organic material e.g. dung, leaf-litter, compost and straw in a variety of natural habitats although many records are from marginal wetland situations and it is often associated with decaying seaweed on the seashore in Europe, it also occurs in parkland and garden compost heaps etc. and has been recorded from greenhouses in Holland. In Sweden it is associated with cattle dung. Adults are active from April until September or October with a peak in numbers during August, they are most readily sampled at light as they fly well and disperse by flight on warm spring and summer evenings, and in the right situation, often near wetlands with plenty of decaying vegetation, will appear in numbers. They are also diurnal and have been found alighting on cars and other reflective surfaces, and they occasionally occur in extraction samples of suitable material during the spring and summer. It seems likely that a more extensive use of light-trapping in wetland and coastal situations might reveal the species to be more widespread and abundant than modern records would suggest.

3.0-4.0mm A relatively large species which varies widely in colour from extensively pale to mostly dark; the lighter pronotum and elytra contrasting with the dark head and underside. The typical colouration is extensively darkened pronotum and elytra with contrasting pale borders. Broadly elongate-oval and continuous in outline with a broad head and large convex eyes, the overall appearance soon becomes distinctive among our hydrophilids. Dorsal surface smooth and shiny; head very finely and quite densely punctured with the clypeus straight or gently curved, not sinuate. Pronotum evenly convex and rounded and finely bordered laterally, this border continuing along the posterior margin for about a third of the width.  Scutellum narrow, elongate and finely punctured. Elytra with 9 impressed and punctured striae which become deeper and in the posterior half, the eighth and ninth usually represented by rows of punctures towards the base, interstice finely and densely punctured; flat near the base and gradually more convex towards the apex. Appendages pale, pro-tibiae rounded apically and club-like. The form of the mesosternal process will serve to identify doubtful specimens; it is raised into a fine and sharp longitudinal ridge between the coxae.

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